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Get The Gunk Outta Here!

Posted by David on

You just bought an awesome new electronic cigarette or MOD and slapped your favorite coil on it. The first few days your vape sessions from your favorite e-juice you bought at The Vape Mall are glorious and delicious. Then out of nowhere you take a drag and it hits your throat like an eruption of burnt, stale socks. You recoil backwards and wonder what in the world just happened, and upon checking your coil you notice it is sticky and brown. You start thinking to yourself, did I do something wrong? Is the product faulty? Is this a bad omen? No, no and hopefully not.

Vape gunk is a problem anyone who's been vaping for a while has experienced. Let's go over general vape workings and look at causes and solutions to this gunky issue.

Vape coils currently come in two basic forms, sub-ohm and RDA. They are both similar when it comes to gunk build up but I will mention the slight differences. Sub-ohm coils are pre-built atomizers made to be disposable. You use them for a few weeks or months depending on usage then you toss it and put in another one when the flavor starts fading. This allows for ease and convenience for people not vaping at extremely high temperatures or just are not interested in making their own coils. RDAs are coils that people build themselves out of wire and cotton. This lets them greater customize the type of vape they want. These coils take more maintenance and need to be re juiced much more often but can still get very gunky just like the sub ohms.

So why do coils get gunky? The main reason is not priming your atomizer. The first thing to understand is there is a lot of power going through your rig. And although coils can take a lot of heat for sure, it is the cotton that cannot. Preventing your coil from burning up a very dry piece of cotton for you to inhale, is your e-juice. When you very first add juice in your tank with a new coil you should wait at least 20 minutes for it to soak up well. It is common for vapers to burn out their coils on their first drag because the cotton was never juiced to begin with. Make sure to prime a new coil when you first put it in.

The other reason for a gunky coil is over vaping. As you take a drag, e-juice is evaporated from the cotton and needs time to re-wet itself. If someone should take multiple drags in a very short amount of time they will find themselves simply inhaling burning cotton (or as I call it, stale sock eruption). On average, it is recommended to wait 20-30 seconds between drags, but every device is different, so feel free to experiment a bit with the timing. A good trick I have learned through experience to help this issue is to poke small holes on the sides (the small holes on the sides that expose the cotton to the juice in the tank) on the atomizer with a safety pin of sewing needle. This well let the juice flow a bit more freely and give you a much more pleasurable experience. Just make sure not to poke a hole too big or you may end up flooding the tank/airflow with juice!

As far as cleaning a gunky vape goes, it depends what you have. Sub-ohm coils need to be replaced entirely. They were not made to be taken apart and fixed with new cotton. For RDAs simply remove cotton, hit the fire button for about 5-10 seconds to burn off excess juice, then rinse with water and dry.

Hopefully, this knowledge provided today will help anyone who might be having troubles with their vaping devices. 

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